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First off I'm really excited about this game.

I would actually describe myself as more of a Euro gamer, even a heavy Euro gamer, since I love Kanban, Agricola, vinhos, Dominant Species etc however I do like Arkham/Eldritch horror, since I love the Lovecraftian theme.

Not sure why this theme works for me but I guess it appeals to the horror film fan boy in me, having grown up on Re-animator and The Evil Dead and other schlocky horrors.

Anyway having played LOTR LCG and enjoyed it, at least for the first 2 years, this is a game I'm really interested in.

I'm hoping for a game, which allows a little deck building but with a gradual drip drip effect, of adding cards, so you can do a campaign. I'm not after the LOTR experience of having to do a total deck rebuild between scenarios though.

However, I'm miffed about the usual LCG model that FFG do, of having to buy 2 or 3 core sets to get a full card pool, which will allow the full deck building experience.

In fact, whilst I was a purist playing LOTR and never used proxies, I think right from the off with this one, I will, since I think FFG are taking the p**s with this model now.

It's not like they can't make a profit supplying everyone with enough cards in the core set, to deck build and then make money with the expansions, it's just that they are now a way to big corporate greedy monster, and are treating us like mugs, knowing people simply expect to have to buy multiple core sets.

Whilst they do produce great games that do need financing to create, I don't see why they should treat their customer base with such contempt.

My advice people, is proxy, don't fall for their greedy selling model.

I don't know why they do it tbh, as out of 12 people in my group who may have bought this, 10 of them said "NO WAY" as they knew what FFG would do with regards an incomplete core set.

Much like Homer Simpson whacking his thumb repeatedly and saying "doh!" or watching another episode of the Walking Dead after season 2 episode 3, I must be a glutten for punishment and have agreed to buy into the game.

However I'm point blankly refusing to buy more than 1 core set.

I'll proxy the cards and sleeve them. FFG are only doing this as they are basing it on their previous sales models of CoC, GoT, LOTR,.

We should all refuse to buy into this ridiculous greedy sales model because otherwise they will keep repeating it.
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Drew
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chainsaw_ash wrote:
It's not like they can't make a profit supplying everyone with enough cards in the core set, to deck build and then make money with the expansions, it's just that they are now a way to big corporate greedy monster, and are treating us like mugs, knowing people simply expect to have to buy multiple core sets.

Whilst they do produce great games that do need financing to create, I don't see why they should treat their customer base with such contempt.


There are a couple factors here you may be missing. Hopefully I can provide some insight as to why this model exists as it does. I doubt I'll change your mind but maybe provide some understanding. The first major factor is cost limitations.

FFG has a price point they want to sell this game at (more on why in factor two). Knowing that, they have designed the core box to provide as much game as possible within that price point. That price accounts for design and component cost (X cards, X punchboards, rulebook art, graphic design, game design, editing, marketing, etc). However MSRP also has to account for shipping costs from China, distribution costs (to pay the person who sends it to retailers) and retailer margins as well as making money for the company itself. It turns out, the core box can fit exact what they put into it and sit at $40 MSRP. There is enough content for one or two people to play a variety of character combinations in three different scenarios.

Factor two has to do with why they chose the price point they did. If the price is set too low, they can't fit all the stuff into the box they need to in order to provide a satisfying experience for the buyer and people won't buy it. If the price is too high, people won't buy it due to the cost. Sure, they could sell it at $60 MSRP with the same content as two core sets, but they're metrics have indicated that they will sell more games, and therefore get it into the hands of more people, by pricing it at $40 and selling more. Imagine a slider where you can tweak the game price and see sales and in-box content go up or down. Where it sits is the sweet spot.

It's also worth noting that the core sets are actually a very, very slim margin for them. Where the margins really go up is the Mythos packs. Those are 38% of the cost and 27% of the card content. Sure, punchboard is some of that, but those are much better margins on the expansions for what you get. They core set is just the taste, the expansions are where you get hooked.

Hopefully that sheds some light on things. I don't know of any game company that is a true cash cow that specializes in ripping people off. No one is getting rich selling boardgames, even people who do it for a living.
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Richard A. Edwards
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kelann08 wrote:
No one is getting rich selling boardgames, even people who do it for a living.

Sing it brother!

Nice explanation too about price point and quantity.

I will add that FFG is considering new customers who maybe have never played an LCG or maybe not even very many games. They don't read BGG or keep up on game news.

They might see the game and think it looks cool and be willing to give it a try.

If the box has twice the material at $60, this new customer may well just put it down where for $40 they might give it a try. And if they like it then pick up a second copy and expansions.

I wonder how many single core sets they'll sell compared to double sets. If indeed 100% of their sales were for double sets, then they'd be better off just making a $60 double set to sell, but that's not the reality.

They're certainly NOT trying to force $80 in sales for two core sets just to get rich. As previously mentioned, those who consider 2 sets to be essential have a higher bar ($80) to jump to get involved and may decide not to buy at all, so those are lost sales.

The "slider" has to figure out how many sales they lose compared to how many new customers they gain with the cheaper (albeit smaller) core set to find the best way to maximize their customer base.

Apparently they think $39.95 is the magic number which then defines the amount of expense in components they can provide.

I don't like the waste of components when buying two core sets. Not happy at all. And I'd rather pay $60 for one full set than $80 for two. But it is what it is.
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Rob Rob
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At least unlike their other LCG, adding a second core to reach "full" status results in minimal waste. The three LotR cores you need to reach full gives you about an entire core's worth of waste product in superfluous cards, counters, tokens, etc...
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SirRoke wrote:
[q="kelann08"]

If the box has twice the material at $60


It doesn't need twice the material, just the 20-30ish (guess, not counted) extra cards needed to round out playsets.

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heroes182 wrote:
SirRoke wrote:


If the box has twice the material at $60


It doesn't need twice the material, just the 20-30ish (guess, not counted) extra cards needed to round out playsets.


Having counted, it's 50.
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Gustavo Herodier
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There you go then. Even if a single card costs them a full cent to produce (not a chance), that only increases costs by less than a dollar per core set. Packaging doesn't need to change, and distribution will be minimally affected (boxes are now marginally heavier).

Considering the amount of money they'll make from each one of us through the series life cycle, I would have thought it's worth it.
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Paul Newsham
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kelann08 wrote:
No one is getting rich selling boardgames, even people who do it for a living.


How much profit do you think Asmodee makes a year?
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50? So there are two copies of shotgun? Or just one? What about elder sign and bullet proof vest?

Well, I like to think it was a gamble on FFG part, because whatever they did game would not feel "complete" for some people.

Let's look on the first scenario, game would have full playset of cards, so it is having around 50 cards more. The people would still complain it would not have full set of cards for two players (in all combinations) and it's still a two player game. Core box would be called solo set, and people would still preach you need a second box to play the game "correctly". Also game could be played in that form by four people - and some people would be put off by that that they need to pay for second set of cards for four players - where they need just two. Also people looking for a good game for two players could avoid the game because it would be advertised as 4 player game or 2 player game with only one full set. Also price would go up a bit because as 4 player game it would need more sets of tokens and such.

Second scenario. Game has a full set for four players with all combinations. Now we're talking about a lot of cards added... How many? More than 200 cards... that means more expensive price and a bigger box. Pairs would still look for a more cheaper alternative for 2 player game. Game is complete but... now it's deluxe product. Expansions are more expensive (4 copies of each card is +100 cards for deluxe expansion, and around +30 for mythos pack. People are happy but... it's a card game. Card game shouldn't be that expensive.. Also expansions would not sell that well...

So they decided to put the bare minimum in the game and release it as a relatively cheap 2 player set. They hope that the game would hook many people up and those people would support the game by buying expansions - their main source of income in this case. And people put off by a need to buy more than one set? They aren't interested in lcg anyway so it's doesn't matter. This is a sad true of lcg - this is how they work, they're expensive as heck or they aren't complete. With arkham it's still better - because you don't need 3 cores! As with other ffg games.

In other words - lcg system is flawed. We can be just happy that regardless of it's flaws ffg still decided to risk, and gamble with it.



 
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SirRoke wrote:
Having counted, it's 50.

It is not 50. It is 10 basic cards per class, plus 4 advanced cards. That alone makes 70. Then there are the 10 basic cards that some come doubled some don't AND the weaknesses. It is up to debate wether you need two or not (there is a big discussion on FFG forum, I am not going to repeat the debate in here)....which brings the total to something between 80 and 90 cards.

EDIT: oh, as it has been well said above me, this would give you 2 copies of each investigator card....but it would not be all the cards you need for a full 2 player experience. You would need 4 copies of all cards to be able to play any pair of investigators at the same time.


heroes182 wrote:
There you go then. Even if a single card costs them a full cent to produce (not a chance), that only increases costs by less than a dollar per core set. Packaging doesn't need to change, and distribution will be minimally affected (boxes are now marginally heavier).


That is again wrong. From my printer days, it costs 2 cents to print one sheet of cards (55) one side. Cards are two sided, but then you need to add 2000$ for setting up the printer (costs divided by the number of times you print that sheet)...and that the costs of printing for the printing company (not to FFG). You have to take into account that the printer takes a cut, so does the distributer, reseller, import and sale taxes, extra shipping costs, etc. A good rule of thumb is that if something costs X to produce it will be sold for 8X to the customer.

But even disregard this. Imagine that FFG could add 80 more cards for free into the box. They would probably sit down and say: do we want to put a full playset of all cards? Instead, we can use these 80~ish cards to put another two adventures.

FFG has tried several models with their core set. For example, Call of Cthulhu had no wasted slots. They put 10 "setting" cards and 155 cards for deckbuilding, ALL of them different. You would need 3 core sets to have the full collection, but only the 10 setting cards were not needed for a full playset. People still complained.

The answer is there is no way to please everyone. They have tried several different models of core set. This is the one they believe to be the best.
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Assuming you're only playing two investigators, the game has enough cards for two character decks that are "complete" per the rules, but not optimised. I wonder, for the supposed newbie to LCG's and to this game specifically, if they would actually notice the absence of a second core in the decks.

Would the deck seem too random? If they've never constructed a deck before, or played with a well tuned one, I'm not sure they'd expect anything other than randomness from a stack of shuffled cards.

Would it seem odd to add cards to one deck and not the other if it's a good neutral card? Again doubtful if their frame of reference is for games that come self-contained as a single purchase and single pool of cards. They know the inventory is limited. The real hurdle would be deck construction itself as a gaming concept.

So I think we're left with the real central question: can single core decks do well against the challenges of the game? If they can with at least some degree of consistency, then buying a second core is truly an optional purchase and not a way to build in a gotcha on FFG's part. If the game is miserably difficult against single-core decks, then FFG is intentionally selling a flawed, shorted product.

All that said, if you go online, you'll be able to buy two cores for the price of a current gen new release video game and get more play out of it. Assuming the game is winnable without a second core, make the choice of a second core or not rather than proxying. Proxying sucks, especially if you don't have exact card text immediately on hand to know what the proxied stats are. I tried learning the old Decipher Star Wars card game with a bunch of proxied rares my friend added to the decks. Quite possibly the most confusing, miserable experience I had with a card game other than maybe that awful Iron Crown version of Lord of the Rings.
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Nushura you seem very knowledgable in printing costs. Can you tell us how much more price could be higher (in your opinion) if they would add those 50(basics) + 16(advanced) + 10 (neutral skills) = 76 cards to the box? Paying the same price as for other cards - not adding them for loss of potential profit. ( counting weaknesses is a mistake because you always draw from the pool of 10 weaknesses , and never refill)

 
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Not directed at anyone in particular, but there seem to be a lot of people who assume that printing costs are the main factor in producing a game. They aren't. Printing cards costs much less than the R&D of designing, testing, and balancing the game and the cost of these factors have been split over the cores as well.
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dboeren wrote:
Not directed at anyone in particular, but there seem to be a lot of people who assume that printing costs are the main factor in producing a game. They aren't. Printing cards costs much less than the R&D of designing, testing, and balancing the game and the cost of these factors have been split over the cores as well.

I call those people idiots.
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Yep. Proxy is the way to go. I don't like the idea of people pirating board games on TTS, but I don't like the idea of a company pirating our wallets either.

I'll buy one copy of this game, and build the rest of it out myself. Only because it sounds that good.

If it was mediocre, this would be an easy pass.
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soul31 wrote:
Nushura you seem very knowledgable in printing costs. Can you tell us how much more price could be higher (in your opinion) if they would add those 50(basics) + 16(advanced) + 10 (neutral skills) = 76 cards to the box? Paying the same price as for other cards - not adding them for loss of potential profit. ( counting weaknesses is a mistake because you always draw from the pool of 10 weaknesses , and never refill)


To start with I believe that you DO refill. It makes no sense at all not to...but this is a story for another day.

Let's say you want to add 76 cards to a core. That is roughly 1.5 extra sheets that you need to print. It is impossible to say a static number for the cost of the 1.5 sheets as it depends on the number of copies of the core set that FFG prints. I read somewhere that they printed 9000 copies (no idea how true is that number, but at least the order of magnitude is correct).

If so you have to pay 6k$ in setup (2 fronts, 1 back) and 13.5k in the printing itself (2 cents to print in color each side). This makes a total of 19.5k$, divided by the 9k copies it is 2.2$ extra production costs.

In any case, I repeat what David has said: printing costs is not the only thing to take into account. Even if you ignore art, development, and playtesting (you are placing extra copies of cards that are already in the core after all), you have to add manufacturing costs (the cards have to be cut. Then you need a person that arranges the cards properly. This is specially difficult with the sheet that has to be split. Then you need to shrinkwrap, etc). On top of that add the cuts that everyone gets: the printer, distributer, retailer, etc....and even taxes!

I cannot imagine FFG saying "I added an extra 2.2$ to the MRSP to make customers happy. Please do not get your usual cut from it". The 8 factor gives a rough estimate of 17.5$ extra for being a "complete" set.
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Nushura wrote:
The 8 factor gives a rough estimate of 17.5$ extra for being a "complete" set.


So the oft-used guesstimate of "about $60" if they included full playsets (and this is SPECIFIC to AHLCG, different games with other distributions may well result in a different figure) is about right. And that being said, everything which has been said about cost-to-entry stands - market research almost certainly exists showing that FFG will sell more Core sets at $40 without full playsets than $60 with them.
 
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Joel Tamburo
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Nice to hear from people with real experience in printing.

It sounds like the more realistic price scenario to have a "full" Core would be adding the pricing of a Mythos pack or selling them separate for such a price - and that is assuming identical economies of scale which is likely not the case as for most people one Core is fine. So add more cost because of lower print run.
 
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CommissarFeesh wrote:

So the oft-used guesstimate of "about $60" if they included full playsets (and this is SPECIFIC to AHLCG, different games with other distributions may well result in a different figure) is about right. [...]


Indeed, 20$ is for a game that needs few cards. The cost of completing GoT would be HUGE: there are 180~ish different cards and 30 extra cards for some duplicats. You would need to add 300~ish extra cards to have a complete set, which is more cards that come in a core.

I actually think they went the correct way with AH and 2 cores. I hate that with other games (LoTR, Netrunner and GoT 2.0 for example) you need 3 cores and from the last one you will only use 10~15 cards. It would be much better if rather than placing 10~18 cards with a single copy they remove 6 of those cards and put two copies of the ones that remain.
 
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Nushura wrote:


I cannot imagine FFG saying "I added an extra 2.2$ to the MRSP to make customers happy. Please do not get your usual cut from it". The 8 factor gives a rough estimate of 17.5$ extra for being a "complete" set.


I fact they COULD do exactly this and the shops would have no choice but accept that. Same thing happened with the infamous Discount policy for online ratailers, which also sometimes affected FLGS in a weird way.

Also we can compare the market, there are games in 40$ range whith both less and more physicall components. So the argument that they couldn't squeeze extra 70 cards in the box and keep the price isn't exactly valid.

Also considering scale of production, I am sure that FFG is making really good profit on its LCGs. It is not a small company producing niche games with limited printruns. FFG games are mass produces and reprinted over and over again. Especially base games and core set.

So why do they sell incomplete games? Because they want them to feel like demo games, to be incomplete. They want us to like what we see in the core but they also want us feel that immediately we have to buy more, extra core, deluxe expansion, scenario packs, whatever. They give you enought material to see possibilities, but not enought to actually implement it. For that you have to buy some kind of expansion.
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Reid666 wrote:

I fact they COULD do exactly this and the shops would have no choice but accept that. Same thing happened with the infamous Discount policy for online retailers, which also sometimes affected FLGS in a weird way.


No, No and.....No! Simply No. Go and tell uncle Sam not to get his cut. Go and tell the manufacturer to make you this part of the game at cost. Go and tell... you get the point.

And again, imagine they manage to get a somehow squeeze 70 more cards into their core set...I am willing to bet that they would NOT put a full playset. They would add 2 more adventures instead. And who are you to tell them how to sell their product?
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David Ainsworth
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I'd rather they went the other way and stripped back the core game so that it at least included full compliments of the cards that were included. I'm not going to buy a second core at full price when I only need some of the cards to "complete" my game.

I mean don't get me wrong though, I'm not one of those crusaders who won't let it go. I'll just buy one core and then proxy the extras I want like I did with LotR (at least until it got on OCTGN).
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Andrew Shafer
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Looking at the lcg system from a board gaming perspective is where you all are starting completely wrong. Lcg is the reinvention of a ccg/tcg system, it takes out random chance from purchases and makes it simple and affordable to obtain a complete set of cards. it takes away the aggravation of chasing down rare cards. Of course this is all old news on a tired out topic. Buy what you want, proxy what you don't, have fun and play how you'd like!
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Nushura wrote:
SirRoke wrote:
Having counted, it's 50.

It is not 50. It is 10 basic cards per class, plus 4 advanced cards. That alone makes 70. Then there are the 10 basic cards that some come doubled some don't AND the weaknesses. It is up to debate wether you need two or not (there is a big discussion on FFG forum, I am not going to repeat the debate in here)....which brings the total to something between 80 and 90 cards.

You're correct. I forgot the 20 advanced level cards. There are two of all neutral cards (and 4 of some).

 
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